Howdy, all! Victoria here and boy do I have a treat for you! NA has gotten simply huge over the last year, which is just all kinds of amazing, right? I just love NA; the thrills, the excitement, and the wonderful journey an author allows me to have through the eyes of their characters. It's just all kinds of awesome and I love every moment of it.

But another thing that is just so great about NA are the fabulous covers. You feel me on this, right? They make you click that "one-click" button and get you crazy and all kinds of excited to start that new NA story! Well, one person who really knows something about covers is the fabulous lady I'm interviewing today. You may have seen her covers around say, The New York Times and USA Today Best Seller lists. She also happens to be my cover artist ;) and the artist of fellow NA Member Juliana Haygert. I'm so happy she joined us today for an interview.



Now, let me take you into the mind of the genius that is Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations!


Tell us a little about your background in graphic design.

I have always been in love with art, every kind. My favorite place to go is The Art Institute of Chicago, in high school I would to go there on the weekends and walk around with tears in my eyes at all the paintings. My father was a copywriter as Leo Burnett in Chicago, he worked on many large advertising campaigns, and I went on shoots with him from time to time. I would sit, go to work with him as a child, and the artists there would draw cartoons and storyboards for me to color in. I feel that I grew up in a world filled with creativity. I was a fine arts major in college, and sort of fell into a mylar balloon design job. I did that for 11 years before leaving last October to do book covers exclusively.


How did you get your start designing for indie authors?

Sarah's first NA cover!
It kind of just happened. I discovered the world of self publishing last Spring. I met Colleen Hoover, and we starting chatting and bonding over our love for John Green. As I got deeper into this business, I made some awesome friends, including Kyla (KA) Linde. When she went to publish Avoiding Commitment her cover artist fell through. She knew I was a graphic designer by profession and asked if I would do the cover. It spiraled from there, and I am currently doing about 40 covers a month and have sold covers to 4 of the big six. This has been a CRAZY year!


Many of your covers are new adult. How do you go about capturing the attention of this specific audience?

Each genre has a different formula in my mind.....by far the most competitive is YA. NA is really quite simple. The covers that show the best, that tend to sell the most, are ones that show hope. That show love, want, passion, but are a bit reserved. An almost kiss does better than a make out session. It's hard to explain, but I think I have a fairly good eye for what sells and what doesn't. I think that comes from being around the advertising industry with my father. All your cover needs to do is advertise your book the best it can. And there is an absolute difference between what will look good on a shelf at B&N and what looks good on Amazon. I try to be equal, I want them to look good both places. And I will make this statement- no matter how many times I hear "I don't like people on the cover" they SELL MORE. They do. Why? Subconsciously, people relate to them more, and are more inclined to click on it. You may not realize you even do this, but trust me. It's true. This is especially true for NA. NA books are heavily character driven, relationship driven. People need to see that emotion on the cover, and have it spark something inside of them. That's how it sells. I could go on forever about this. Now I'm rambling.

New York Times Best Seller!

So many of your covers have been featured on the New York Times and USA Today Best Sellers lists and also picked up by big six publishers. How do you go about creating the perfect image to showcase an author's work?

I never plan. I mean, I have a certain idea of the direction I will take, but honestly my designs just happen as I am doing them. It's very hard when a client wants to know what the cover will be like....because I have no clue until I start doing it.


What's your all-time favorite book cover? (all of your covers are great so let's say not designed by you ;D)

Oh man. This is the hardest question EVER. I can't chose. I will say very high up there for me is the Mara Dyer series. And Speechless by Hannah Harrington is easily the most simplistic beautiful cover. It has the best back synopsis, trust me. I have a section for this on the Okay Creations Pinterest page. Although I suck at updating it :) OH This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers. And The Ocean at The End of The Lane by Neil Gaiman....oh geez it's like picking a favorite child, just go to my Pinterest haha. http://pinterest.com/okaycreations/my-favorite-covers/

Some of Sarah's All-Time Favorite Covers (not designed by her ;D)

How can an author get in contact with you if they'd like to work with you? And do you recommend how early they should contact you before publishing their work?

 You can email me at okaycreationsSH@gmail.com and please, please realize I am booking a minimum of 6 months out.


Where to see more of Sarah's Work:

Facebook
Twitter
Website
Pinterest

Thanks so much for stopping by, Sarah!


Post a Comment

  1. I tell Sarah often: I <3 her! ;)

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    1. Oh, Sarah also did the cover of my next novel, Breaking the Reins: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17730510-breaking-the-reins

      <3

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  2. Wow, these covers are AMAZING! I just self published a book (not NA or YA) and had a really hard time finding a designer. I will be storing this away for future reference, thank you!!

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    1. Sarah is wonderful. You won't be disappointed!

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  3. Great interview, ladies! Truly love that Hopeless cover. :)

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  4. I love Sarah's covers so much, I've already booked her for my first two books. Unfortunately she's booking many months in advance. I could go with someone else, but why would I? I love her covers too much. The wait will be worth it.

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  5. I remember when I first saw the Speechless cover. Talk about making simple look awesome. I think it's great that you interviewed such a talent today Victoria.

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  6. I didn't know exactly which covers that Sarah did, but seeing the collage at the top of the page - I realize I am officially 'one-click' junkie of her work.

    And I really like how she mentioned she tries to convey hope in her New Adult designs - what an interesting point.

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    1. Really love her tips. So much to the process to catching the eye of NA readers! Thanks for stopping by Faith :-)

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  7. Love these covers and on some of my favorite books!
    Great post!

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  8. Wow, really fantastic covers! Book covers are always a source of angst for me lol. Great tips here :)

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    1. I agree with you wholeheartedly! Covers are so addictive :-)

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  9. Nice interview! I love the covers she picked as her favorites!

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    1. Really love that Mara Dyers series. So eye catching!

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  10. Nice covers! Nice interview, too. :)

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  11. Sarah has done some AMAZING covers :)

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